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Double recognition: WRV’s Trombly, Craven honored by coaches association

  • White River Valley's Dominic Craven drives into the defense of West Rutland's Patrick Smith, left, and Timothy Blanchard as Levi Petit pursues during their playoff game in South Royalton, Vt., on March 20, 2021. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • White River Valley's Wes Trombly lays up the ball against the defense of West Rutland's Tyler Serrani (14) and another during their playoff game in South Royalton, Vt., on March 20, 2021. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley news file photographs – Geoff Hansen

Valley News Sports Editor
Published: 4/5/2021 9:12:41 PM
Modified: 4/5/2021 9:12:39 PM

It might be understating the situation to term the White River Valley boys basketball team’s season a disappointment. It started late and lasted just six games thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and a VPA Division IV tournament upset loss.

That said, it’s ending with a piece of good news.

Two of third-year coach Mike Gaudette’s top players, juniors Dominic Craven and Wes Trombly, landed on the Division III-IV Dream Dozen underclass boys basketball team honored by the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association on Monday. The team is usually released as part of the VBCA’s annual all-star games held at Windsor High School, contests that aren’t being staged this year because of the pandemic.

“I was disappointed with how things ended; it’s not the kids’ fault,” Gaudette said in a Monday phone interview. “I thought we’d be one of the best teams in Division IV. … This is probably the best team I’ve had, and we’ll be good again next year. It’s nice that the other coaches noticed their talent.”

Craven is something of a known athletic quantity at WRV, but Gaudette said Trombly is just beginning to tap his potential.

Still slowed by an ankle injury sustained during soccer season, Craven averaged a solid 16 points per game in the Wildcats’ shortened campaign, ranking seventh in the Upper Valley. He punctuated the season with 25-point games in a March 1 win over Northfield and the March 20 quarterfinal loss to West Rutland that ended WRV’s year.

“He’s worked really hard at basketball; it’s his passion,” Gaudette said of Craven, who averaged 15.2 ppg for a 13-9 squad as a sophomore in 2019-20. “He worked extremely hard outside of the season. He’s always playing. He’s another one who’s been on the varsity since his freshman year, and he’s just getting better and better.”

Trombly, meanwhile, gives Gaudette something else to anticipate next winter.

At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, the White River Valley center stands to be one of the bigger players in D-IV. Although not a big scorer — he’s only hit double digits twice in three winters and averaged 4.5 ppg this season — Trombly is growing into becoming one of the Wildcats’ better shooters.

“He’s a big kid, but if you watch him, he can shoot the 3,” Gaudette said. “He’s got really one of our better shots; he has nice form. We use him in a couple of different ways. He’s worked hard, and his footwork is good for a kid his size. He’s really improved over the last couple of years. I’m proud of him.”

COVID-19 dictated WRV’s winter as much as just about any school in Vermont. The Wildcats played their first game on Feb. 22, about two weeks later than the rest of the state, because of an outbreak at the school. The Wildcats’ schedule regular-season finale with Arlington on March 12 was canceled by an outbreak with the Eagles, leaving an 11-day layoff that Gaudette said left his team rusty and flat for its sole tournament encounter.

Seeing two of his top returnees get some recognition takes a little of the pain out of a 4-2 campaign.

“They’re fun kids to coach,” Gaudette said. “They’re great.”

 

VBCA honors: Four other Upper Valley underclass standouts made Dream Dozen rosters on Monday.

Mid Vermont Christian junior Hayley Goodwin landed on the Division III-IV girls squad after averaging an Upper Valley-leading 24.9 ppg in the Eagles’ run to the D-IV state semifinals. Windsor’s Elliot Rupp (16.6 ppg) joined her, ranking fifth in regional scoring and powering the athletic Yellowjackets to the D-III semis. On the boys’ side, Rivendell’s Kyle Carter (18.8 ppg) secured a Division III-IV spot, and Hartford’s Tarin Prior (18.1 ppg) made the Division I-II squad.

The following players were chosen for the senior all-star games:

■Division III-IV girls: Thetford’s Emma Colby, Namya Benjamin and Kelsey Smith; Rivendell’s Adele Tilden; Windsor’s Evelyn Page, Ashley Grela and Adi Prior; Mid Vermont Christian’s Sydney Goodwin.

■Division III-IV boys: Thetford’s Eli Dunnet and Jackson Ransom; Oxbow’s Bryce Ilsley; Windsor’s Owen Abrahamsen and Jordan Place; White River Valley’s Carder Stratton.

■Division I-II girls: Hartford’s Jasmine Jenkins.

■Division I-II boys: Hartford’s Danny Bushway.

The VBCA normally uses proceeds from the all-star games to pay for plaques for the athletes. Anyone seeking to contribute this season to make up for the losses is asked to contact Dave Fredrickson at 802-442-8075.

 

All-caps in Capitol: Oxbow’s Emma Parkin made the five-player all-star first team from the Capitol Division on Monday. Parkin averaged 13.1 ppg, sixth-best in the region, to power the Olympians to the VPA Division III semifinals.

Thetford, owners of three of the previous four D-III state championships, had two selections. Emma Colby (7.7 ppg) made the second team, and teammate Namya Benjamin (9.9 ppg) earned honorable mention.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.

 

 




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